Well, the 2010 NBA Draft happened, and disappoint it did not. I live-blogged the thing the old-fashioned way. Then I went back, took out the worst lines, elaborated on some ideas, and now have a draft document that's part recap, part diary. Not only do I finally understand what "retro-diary" mean, I see why it's a necessary form. Share in my happiness after the jump.
7:01 p.m. Please tell me that's not Bono doing the voice-over on the intro. He has done enough good for the world.
If Tiny Gallon doesn't get guaranteed money, he should license his name to a high-fructose alcoholic sports drink sold in convenience stores.
Weird that the draft suits are such a point of ridicule (yes, I know they're trying to contain them, but check out Wes Johnson's aristocratic hunting pajamas) when a dress code of suits were supposed to save the league's image. What if every night had been a different draft night suit? That would have been the most effective protest. Maybe that's why Stern relaxed the standards.
You would think that if formal wear was the way to turn the NBA around, Stern would take control of the looks on draft night. Then again, I guess only die-hards watch the draft.
7:10 p.m. Cousins has done a really remarkable job this week of going hard at his critics. Telling a controversial player to defend themselves might seem like common sense, but for some reason it risks making the situation worse.
7:29 p.m. Well, here we are, one minute away from John Wall being picked. I am sitting near a Pacers employee who refuses to tell me where Indianapolis is.
Wizards Select John Wall
According to Jay Bilas's numbers, Wall just turned the ball over while walking to podium.
How exactly does one improve his quickness and fastness as a pro? If anything, wouldn't the pro game's pace, and the speed of others, make him seem slower? I would love to see a perfume ad written by Bilas, with a lot of large typeface and whispering. Him whispering? Maybe that's too much.
Like that Smarties necklace John Lucas was wearing in that photo. No, that was not a cocaine joke.
John Wall's mom is straight out of 1931.
Wall is insanely photogenic.
76ers select Evan Turner
7:43 p.m. I have been cowed into acknowledging that Evan Turner is a Brandon Roy-type player. Thank you, draft guests. Though that kind of ruins the image I'd developed of Turner as something more fantastic.
So this sends Louis Williams to the bench, right? Williams has been an over-achieving second-rounder on a team full of disappointment, or at least guys content to never fly too high (really funny because they can all jump). I guess it was all over when Jrue Holiday was drafted. But this really seals it. I have a feeling that Jamal Crawford has not only redeemed a certain kind of PG, but made it okay among their secret community to come off the bench with pride.
Doug Collins is looking pleasantly alive.
They should bring back the territorial picks. The Knicks would still be terrible.
Nets Select Derrick Favors
Smokescreen! Decisions! Secrets! There you have the most mysterious pick settled. Nets go with Favors, which I guess Andy Katz said earlier had to do with him being "a tradeable asset".
This makes the Nets set on defense, but Cousins and Lopez would have been a frightening pair. Plus, huddles with Avery Johnson and Cousins would be amazing. Anyway, back to what really did happen: as dynamic as Favors is, no one seems capable of getting all that excited about him. I mean, he can dunk, right?
I would like to look at Bobby Cremins's haircut in its prime right now.
I hate to be cruel, but there are some team colors that scream "failure" to me. The Nets are near the top.
Weird that Derrick Favors had to be reminded to get new socks in college. I've heard that NBA players take home endless amounts of socks.
Timberwolves Select Wesley Johnson
That would be the best-dressed of the night, possible of all time. There had better be some self-respecting oddball like Al-Farouq Aminu changing in the backroom right now, or sewing a new outfit out of table cloths.
I said yesterday that Johnson seemed in on the joke with his official draft portrait. Well, now we know for sure he has a sense of humor about threads, even when it comes to the most important night of his life. And I kind of miss the part where he got the joke, rather than making it himself.
Still, that suit screams "I am rich in so many different ways right now". Maybe it's more performance than self-presentation. Let's hope this one follows him for years to come.
KIngs Select DeMarcus Cousins
7:58 p.m. Well, at least now we can stop asking questions about DeMarcus Cousins ... at least until the season starts.
Is it possible that, as much as Cousins' name has been dragged through the mud these last few weeks, his actual might as a player might have been pumped up excessively? Don't get me wrong, he's a stud. Maybe even a special stud (you never hear that, do you?). But it's like he's been turned into the next Shaquille O'Neal to make the "character issues" more dramatic.
Watch out Ziller, your team no longer belongs to your city.
So when I watched Mayweather/Marquez fight at a theater, and one dude kept standing up and yelling "THEY CALL HIM MONEY." I really, really want people to start saying "THEY CALL HIM BOOGIE" down in Sacramento.
Cousins' "They think I'm a monster off the court" was an absolutely perfect quote.
Warriors Select Ekpe Udoh
That was the sound of all friends who are Warriors fans keeling over. There is so much of this team that needs to go, including the owner (happening, at some point), the coach (ditto), and both of my favorite players on it (just you wait). What's a good pick for the Warriors? It's kind of like a Timberwolves joke, except with a punchline that will hurt you if you squint at it too long.
"I don't know where guy get these arms, it's amazing." At the arms store, Jay Bilas, at the arms store.
Pistons Select Greg Monroe
8:13 p.m. I hope you'll allow me this liberty: Monroe has lot to offer a team, and could easily end up like Anthony Randolph, if Randolph weren't so ... Anthony Randolph. If nothing else, I think he's a player worth getting excited about. I expect more of him than, say, Austin Daye. Hard to tell if Monroe will be a subtle, even refined pro, or suddenly emerge from a cocoon we didn't really know he had.
Man, I feel dumb about that depressing team colors thing thing, since Nets and Pistons are the same ... and Clippers. I also believe those are the colors of our most beloved nation. That is kind of a cop-out on a teams part -- to constantly appeal to the flag in hopes of keeping morale up, or shutting down dissenters.
Clippers Select Al-Farouq Aminu
Love this guy, and you just simply can't get a better nickname than "The Chief Has Arrived." It's like a pan-African version of "The Champ Is Here." Okay, not a nickname, but he can scream it after dunks.
Aminu's dressed like one of the mobsters on the "Celebrate Rick Sargulesh" episode of Party Down. Right down to the big glasses.
"I think everything's going to be positive." Who says that about the Clippers?
Aminu and Cousins are easily the biggest personalities in this draft. Actually, not sure if Cousins has a big personality, but he's a fascinating one -- or at least has been made into one by the firestorm surrounding him.
The Josh Smith/Aminu comparisons are fine with me.
Jazz Select Gordon Hayward
8:25 p.m. Can we talk about Aminu some more? He is pretty much the poster child for something Ziller said earlier about how this draft really challenges a lot of ideas about position mattering. Maybe I was dumb for thinking Cousins could play PF (or -- gasp -- would have to play it), but guys like Aminu, or Udoh, or Avery Bradley, or even Evan Turner and Derrick Favors, make Best Player Available and Need blur in new and interesting.
Someone in my house: "Gordon Hayward: as competitive as his sister." He had her rated higher on his draft board. He'll be here all week, if you want him to take this thing over.
Pacers Select Paul George
The mystery man revealed! Wonder if this lends any credence to the rumors of Danny Granger being on the block. I guess those were tied into picks tonight. But wait, Favors at No. 3 was certainly a "tradeable asset," and pick 10 has yet to happen.
Paul George sounds like he's giving an Oscar acceptance speech. It's hard to explain. He's got this odd composure that sounds rehearsed, not vacant or garbled like a lot of athletes. I also think George might be the first player to ever use the word "potential" in reference to himself. Would love to sit down with a bunch of players and hear how they feel about the language of draft night.
I don't know much about Fresno State. But that got me thinking about new frontiers for scouting. Has anyone ever been drafted from a commuter school? Is anyone scouting there? Wait, I meant for-profit universities.
Hornets Select Cole Aldrich
8:38 p.m. I wasn't going to say anything, but Fran Fraschilla said of Aldrich "right off the bat, you know he has a high basketball IQ." Yeah, just looking at him, you can tell. If it had been anyone other than Fraschilla speaking, I would assume he was trying to tell J.B. something special.
Those polite, fake laughs around the studio table were awful. Lets just bring in a laugh track for next year. The hard part would be deciding when to turn it off.
Cole Aldrich and Morris Peterson traded to the Thunder for 18th and 21st picks
Grizzlies Select Xavier Henry
Henry sheds a tear for joy. No really, he was completely moist around the eye-space when interviewed after the pick. Other NBA players who cry include Kobe Bryant and Adam Morrison. Let's hope Xavier can split the difference.
Some voice from ESPN desk says "there goes Rudy Gay." That would make sense if Mayo weren't going to try out PG, or Henry weren't primarily a long-range shooter, or were capable of playing SF.
Tom Penn sort of looks and talks like Pritchard, his former boss. This night can't be an easy one for him.
Just glanced at Twitter, I think Aminu is a good deal more legitimately weird than Dwight Howard. When you show it that young. I mean, remember Howard at that age? Aminu might actually be eccentric. Notice, I'm not getting taken in by Johnson's attire. Style is knowing you can pull it off more than once.
Raptors Select Ed Davis
He could stand to work on his body language when seated. No future NBA player should look like he's getting eaten by pillows, or otherwise overwhelmed by furniture. Though maybe I'm underestimating how gigantic those chairs are. It's also kind of endearing to see Davis scrunched up like that.
I wish Bucher would come on camera with his hair a mess, and dirt on his face, and tell us about the bar fight he had just gotten into. He's kind of dashing like that.
Rockets Select Patrick Patterson
8:56 p.m. That is a very good pick, I think. Patterson was the guy no one was nuts about taking, or expected anything enormous of, but was going to show up, put in work, and stretch the floor with the range he discovered last year.
Bilas: "He has expanded his game to where he's going to step away." Having attained a higher state of aptitude for the game, Patterson may simply decide to retire one day, mid-game, and we won't have any right to question him.
P Squared, that suit would work better if you just went all-out and made it metallic.
Why are they patronizing Patterson's love of Fernando Torres and Spain's soccer team? Shouldn't it be the other way around, since they're the ones making trendy Landon Donavon references like it's Stu Scott's latest form of slang?
All these cutaways to Coach Cal are really disconcerting. More disconcerting is the expression on his face. Beatific, but strangely unfazed, like he got into this business to ship his kids off to the NBA. This is what the queen in Aliens looks like on a good day.
Bucks Select Larry Sanders
Apparently I just made a face like I was being given a birthday cake and handed my new child at the same time. Larry Sanders was the cult favorite of the draft, and while natural law would have sent him to the Thunder, I'll settle for him joining up with Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee.
Speaking of Jennings, here's what he had to say on Twitter, right before the Bucks picked: "js,dbdlsbdsjbdkjdbjvbvjvbjrbevivbververbvivberbjdberdjhbeewbeijbbedjbwsvdvbver". I think that was my reaction once they did announce Sanders.
Timberwolves Select Luke Babbitt
This pick is being traded to the Blazers for Martell Webster, so I hear. Okay, have fun with that, new Blazers era.
Bilas: "He's really good. He can make shots." That's the Jay Bilas story hour, and it's really hard for kids to take because he sneers it at them. it's also the way most of America would explain Michael Jordan's prowess.
It was impossible to not laugh when we were reminded that Babbitt was "the WAC player of the year."
I like that his reason for being the best shooter is that he's just more blessed than everyone else. Isn't that even more arrogant than simply saying he's the best? Actually, I admire his honesty. It never makes sense that everyone is blessed equally, but some players are better or more successful than others. I'm not the first to make this point, but Babbitt's the first to solve its riddle.
Bulls Select Kevin Seraphin
Here's a fun fact: I saw Kevin Seraphin at the 2009 Hoop Summit. No one mentioned he might be NBA-worthy, and I can't remember him at all. My research now tells me he was the big discovery coming out of the international team.
I guess I was too busy gawking at Wall; it's not like I'm incapable of some form of scouting. I was smitten with Serge Ibaka at the 2008 Summit, before Ibaka was considered a certain NBA prospect. On the other hand, I did see Perry Jones play that summer in another Nike event and not even realize it. I blame that partly on Jones -- I'm not the only person to have been underwhelmed by one of his performances -- but I should at least have brought back some impressions.
Kevin Durant knows how to say all the right things and be smart about it. Or be smart while saying all the right things. You can also tell that you wish ESPN would leave him alone and just let him take in the draft.
9:16 p.m. Stu Scott tells us we're going to podium, where David Stern has all the answers. Is that really what you call them? Answers?
Thunder Select Eric Bledsoe
Wasn't clear on that analysis by Bilas. Does Bledsoe come off of the bounce or bounce off of people? There really needs to be a diagram of his lexicon. Or he could hire me to write him some new material, but that would get rid of the whole pseduo-scientifical feel of his "scouting." I would like to walk the great jungles of the world with him, and have him tell me about plants and birds.
Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes Traded to Portland for Martell Webster
Okay, salary dump, as Gomes is non-guaranteed. I've always liked Webster, thought he was more than the "sharp-shooter" he was stereotyped as. Dude blocks a lot of shots for a guard! Wait, is Minnesota up to something? They now have Webster, Corey Brewer, and tonight's pick, Wes Johnson. Sounds a lot like having Al Jefferson and Kevin Love. Or drafting lots of point guards. Can you crack the code?
Knight and Day is being advertised as "made for adults." I don't understand how that sounds dirtier than "adult films" when it really just means that it makes it okay to be stupid.
Celtics Select Avery Bradley
Spurs Select James Anderson
Looking at these two picks back to back, I will say this: I no longer doubt Danny Ainge picks. And you never doubt the Spurs. Bradley and Rondo may or may not be the backcourt of the future, but the Celtics needed guard help and Bradley fits the team's defensive mindset. Anderson, let's just go ahead and assume he'll be one of this draft's sleepers.
If nothing else, Bradley and Nate Robinson could have some amazing dunk contests in practice. But from this draft, I think Wesley Johnson is most likely to win the dunk contest. If it still exists next year after the budget cuts.
Thunder Select Craig Brackins
(But this is going to the Hornets. I don't understand why teams just didn't draft the players they wanted at their spots.)
The consensus in this room is that Kevin Durant is beyond awesome for going to the draft and sitting in the stands. And shout out to Brandon Jennings, live-blogging this thing with my man Lang Whitaker. But Durant's just there for fun. Reminds of the time Spencer Hawes told me that for fun, Durant ... plays basketball.
Why exactly is Pritchard conducting this draft? Can't he tell Paul Allen to go to hell? Wasn't the whole problem there a clash of egos/power struggle?
Trail Blazers Select Elliot Williams
Pritchard is sabotaging the team, remember. That's the easiest way to make sense of this pick, rather than staring at it forever until we can see the man's genius (as we've been forced to do with Sam Presti more than ever this year). Williams seems like a player Nate McMillan will just love to have in his offense.
9:37 p.m. I hope they interview Penn right now, and let him deliver a tearful ode to his former boss. Preferably with harp and lute accompaniment.
Timberwolves Select Trevor Booker
This guy is Jason Maxiell-ish. A few years ago, I would have said "Maxiell-esque," and it would have been a compliment.
Jon Barry says the Hawks need a good low post scorer. I guess he has a low opinion of All-Star Al Horford. I forgot who said it, but something about "re-shining" Joe Johnson strikes me as really funny. He is not a particularly shiny player to begin with.
"That's terrible!" Charles Barkley in an unrelated commercial, truer words have never been spoken about the Mad Men-inspired promo mush that were on before you.
Extended break for eating/brain deadened by all the trades
Thunder Select Quincy Pondexter
I'm in Seattle. Room of people cheer for pick. Then realize it's the Thunder and start cursing. Then remember it's actually for the Hornets. Then I hear a story about how Pondexter's father was a sadistic prison guard, and that's why he had the nickname "Bonecrusher." Here's an Esquire article about it that will ruin your night.